Global crude stainless steel production is predicted to reach a new record annual total of 53.1 million tonnes, in 2019. This would exceed the previous high figure, set last year, by more than 4.6 percent.
Despite strong expansion in emerging countries, such as India and Indonesia, Chinese growth continues to outstrip the world average. MEPS’ forecast of 28.3 million tonnes, for China’s annual outturn, in 2019, represents an increase of almost six percent, year-on-year, and more than 53 percent of the anticipated global total.
Indian production continues to grow at a healthy rate. The forecast output for this year, at 3.9 million tonnes, equates to an increase of more than four percent, compared with the 2018 figure.
Indonesia’s outturn, in 2019, is expected to substantially exceed 2 million tonnes, as the Chinese-owned Tsingshan plant pushes towards achieving its planned production capacity of 3 million tonnes per year.
Japan’s output, in the first quarter of 2019, represents a fall of 9.5 percent, compared with the same period last year. The latest available results indicate no significant improvement on that performance. We have, therefore, downgraded our forecast for this year’s production to 3.125 million tonnes, which would be almost 4.8 percent lower than the 2018 total.
After falling, substantially, in 2018, Taiwan’s output is expected to level out, this year, to achieve a total of 1.175 million tonnes. This is 32 percent lower than the country’s peak figure, achieved in 2006.
While South Korea has experienced a stronger recovery than Taiwan, since the Global Financial Crisis, its forecast crude stainless steel production for 2019, at 2.425 million tonnes, is similar to last year’s outturn.
Output, in the European Union, is predicted to record minimal growth, this year, at 7.425 million tonnes. EU production has remained in a range between 7.1 million and 7.6 million tonnes, every year since 2010.
After rising by 11 percent, in 2017, growth, in the United States, slowed to around 2 percent, last year. The increase, in the current twelve month period, is forecast to be a modest 1.5 percent, compared with the 2018 outturn, at 2.85 million tonnes.